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10 unforgettable desert adventures

April 29, 2013, 11:29 a.m.
Chile Moon Valley cave mouth

Photo: *Tom*/flickr

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The Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is a high desert in Chile and Bolivia that is one of the driest places on Earth in terms of overall rainfall. Despite its harsh climate, this is a diverse place, with salt flats, geothermal activity, mountains, plants that survive only on dew drops and unique indigenous cultures that have changed little over the centuries.

The Atacama Desert is a worthwhile stop for eco-tourists on a circuit of South America, with tours covering all aspects of the desert. Options range from luxury desert safaris to camping and cabin treks that pass through the desert's otherworldly valleys and salt flats.